Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy
California officials quarantined a Sacramento County stable after a horse was euthanized due to equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM).
The 15-year-old warmblood initially showed signs of colic a week ago. Her owners transported her to a veterinary clinic for care where her condition worsened. Veterinarians euthanized the mare after she displayed severe neurologic symptoms not allowing her to stand.
California officials classify equine herpes myeloencephalopathy when tests confirm EHV-1 and the horse suffers from neurologic issues. EHM is a reportable disease in California.
CDFA issued a quarantine for 31 horses exposed at the index horse’s home stable in Sacramento County. It includes implementation of biosecurity measures including twice daily temperature taking and observation of the horses. No exposed horses have shown signs of disease.
Horses infected with the neurologic strain of EHV-1 show clinical signs that typically include mild incoordination, hind end weakness, and loss of bladder function.
Veterinarians recommend limiting horse to horse contact and horse to human to horse contact. The virus spreads readily through direct contact with infected materials.
Hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and sunlight neutralize the virus.